The story of the Central Virginia Chapter all began in the spring of 2017, when Mrs. Dorian Ridley-Curtis was impressed by the community service work and information shared about the Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc.® (TLOD). She has a strong passion for helping others and wanted to expand community service in the area with youth and adults in her community. She knew she could make a difference, so she took on the challenge to organize a chapter in the Central Virginia area.
Dorian Ridley-Curtis had reached out to a dear friend, who is a member of TLOD, as they shared the same mutual association within another professional organization. She was eager to join Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc.®. She had inquired about a chapter in the Central Virginia area but, to her discontent, was informed that there wasn’t an active chapter in the area. Her dear friend told her that she could take on the challenge and initiate a chapter in the area. To her enthusiasm, she contacted Dr. Nieta Scott-Dunmore and shared her excitement about the possibility. Nieta had attended several of the organization’s events of the Alexandria City chapter previously, personally knew several of the charter members there, and became equally excited and eager to charter this chapter. Dr. Nieta Scott-Dunmore reached out to Lady Sandra Clark, National Area II Director, regarding our interest in starting a chapter in the Central Virginia area. At this point, Dorian and Nieta reached out to other women in the area to analyze their interest in starting a chapter. The response in the affirmative was that there was more service to be done within their communities to assist youth and adults. Lady Sandra Clark, National Area II Director agreed to host an interest information session and further discuss the Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc.®
On Saturday, July 29, 2017, the Interest Group of 16 ladies held a meeting at Hampton Inn in Glen Allen, VA. After this informational meeting, the ladies met again to discuss if they wanted to continue the pursuit of starting a chapter. The ladies “overwhelming” voted to complete the charter application to charter a chapter in the Central Virginia area. The interest group and the chapter organizer, Mrs. Dorian Ridley-Curtis, signed the charter application to submit to the National Office of TLOD, Inc.® for approval. On September 7, 2017, Dr. Nieta Scott-Dunmore “hand-delivered” the completed packages to Lady Sandra Clark, National Area II Director. On Thursday, September 14, 2017, Lady Sandra Clark informed both Nieta and Dorian that the application to start a chapter in the Central Virginia area was approved by the National Office of TLOD, Inc. under the esteemed leadership of our 13th National President, Lady Drema Lee Woldman. The task of planning for the chartering and induction ceremony immediately began with pride and joy. The timeline for all preparations was established, along with preparing for the interest group’s officers and other important roles, so that the goal of chartering the chapter would occur in the month of November 2017. Unfortunately, three of the women who attended the first meeting declined to go forth with induction due to unforeseen circumstances. The remaining women who attended the first meeting of the Interest Group, along with several new members, continued the journey and commitment to establish a chapter in the area with a total of 19 dedicated women.
Lady Sandra Clark, Area Director II, informed the ladies that the chartering date was set and approved by the National President and membership committee. The Central Virginia Chapter of The Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc.® will be chartered on Saturday, November 18, 2017, with nineteen illustrious and like-minded women to serve the Central Virginia area with exemplary service. The charter members are Evelyn Avery, Justine Baugham, RoxAnn Battise, Pamela Brown, Racquel Dozier, Rona Evans, Sonja Hill, Nancy Jones-Oltjenbruns, Janie Mallory, Edwinette Moses, Dorian Ridley-Curtis, Erika Rivers, Monique Salley, Nieta Scott-Dunmore, Bonita Sendra, Arlene Skinner, Debbie Streat, Chaundra Taswell, and Kiara Williams.
The Chapter Organizer, Mrs. Dorian Ridley-Curtis, has one favorite quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., perfectly expressing the chapter’s mission and her heart’s desire to help others: “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve!”